Message From The President - Baruch College

January 26, 2012

TO: The Baruch College Community

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Distinguished Professor of English John Brenkman has accepted my invitation to become the Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of Baruch College, effective as of February 7, 2012.  As we bid Jim McCarthy farewell as he takes up his new position at Suffolk University next week, I am delighted to welcome John Brenkman, who is a long-serving and highly dedicated member of the Baruch faculty, as he assumes Jim’s former role and responsibilities. Interim Provost Brenkman will, of course, work closely with Associate Provosts Barbara Lawrence and Dennis Slavin, as well as with me, to maintain the quality and the momentum of the Office of Provost and Academic Affairs. I am highly confident of John’s success based upon his deep familiarity with the Baruch faculty; his understanding of CUNY and its procedures and processes; and, perhaps most importantly, his high standing as an educator and a scholar.

John Brenkman has taught at Baruch College and the CUNY Graduate Center since 1989. He has been chair of the Baruch English Department since 2009, and he also has served as Chair of the Weissman School’s P&B Committee. A literary scholar and political theorist, Professor Brenkman’s most recent book is The Cultural Contradictions of Democracy: Political Thought since September 11 (Princeton University Press). Previous works include Culture and Domination (Cornell University Press) and Straight Male Modern: A Cultural Critique of Psychoanalysis (Routledge), as well as more than fifty essays and articles. Educated at the University of Iowa, he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University before joining the CUNY faculty. He has been a visiting professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and in the Institut du Monde Anglophone at the University of Paris III. Read his full bio.

Our goal going forward is to identify a new, permanent Provost and Senior Vice President by the beginning of the fall semester of 2012. While this is admittedly an aggressive schedule, I remain hopeful that we can successfully accomplish this timeline if all of the pieces fall into place. Toward that end, I am also pleased to announce that Dean David Birdsell has agreed to chair the Provost Search Committee, and we will now be working quickly to appoint the other members of the committee. The Search Committee will be supported by a national search firm that we also are in the process of determining. As is widely known, David Birdsell is a well-organized and effective manager, who has successfully led previous searches at the College. I am fully confident that, under David’s leadership, and with the support of a professional search consultant, the Provost Search Committee will succeed in identifying a number of outstanding candidates — people who possess the appropriate mix of academic and administrative experience and who can work closely with me, as a partner, to enhance Baruch’s legacy and fulfill its unique mission by taking principal responsibility for managing the academic affairs of the College.

Please join me in congratulating Professor John Brenkman on his new responsibilities as Baruch’s Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs  I ask that you lend him and our vice provosts, as well as Dean Birdsell, your full support during this period of transition.

Mitchel B. Wallerstein


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